"It should have a happy ending," she said. "Everything should. Why go through all this if not for something good at the end?"
The bench underneath me was new wood, too stiff. The chairguards on either side of me had little give. She fit on her side fine. I was tight, as if these park benches were designed by roller coaster people.
"But that's not real life," I said. "It wouldn't be fair."
I tried putting my arm around her but it just wasn't happening. These park benches were designed by my junior high girlfriends' grandmother. She yelled at me for touching her only grand daughter's hand.
"Nobody reads fiction for real life," she said. "People read it to escape real life. Everyone knows this."
She looked out onto the lake. A couple of duck butts floated. She giggled when they came up for air. Neither of us had bread, but we had cameras.
"But what about all the sad stories? You know, ones where the hero doesn't get the girl at the end?"
"Those are for happy people. Their lives are too easy, maybe," she said. "They need escape too."
My phone digs into my thigh. From this angle, I feel I'll probably lose blood circulation in my legs in under ten minutes. These benches are fascist, anti-pleasure insults to humanity. It's obviously an effort to curb sleeping and skateboarding, but I was having trouble imaging what human would find this approach welcoming.
"We're all just looking for what we're not?"
I stood up. I couldn't take it anymore. She rose with me, and kissed me on the cheek.
"We're looking for what will make us whole."
I held her in my arms. I couldn't believe she married him.
"I'll keep that in mind."